VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. – Behind a career-low five-under 65 by sophomore Alvaro Ortiz and two-under 68 by senior Taylor Moore in the morning round at Old Overton Club, Arkansas completed Monday’s 36-hole opening day of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate hosted by Alabama in seventh place in the 12-team field.
Keyed by Ortiz and Moore, the Razorbacks finished the first round in a tie for second place thanks to a four-man score of two-under 278 and followed with a 293 in the afternoon. Arkansas enters Tuesday’s final round just five strokes out of the top five.
Ortiz’s 65 put him atop the 60-player leaderboard after the morning round, marking the second time in three tournaments this fall he has been the first round leader. His five-under 65 was highlighted by five birdies over his last six holes during a bogey-free back nine that resulted in a 30 on his scorecard. Ortiz and the rest of the Razorbacks returned to the back nine to open their second round, as Ortiz slipped into a tie for 12th place with a 75 in the afternoon.
Moore’s third under-par round of the year and the 36th of his career started with 13 straight bogey-free holes that featured a pair of birdies. Moore’s 68-73/141 scorecard landed him in a tie for 16th place, as he ranks tied for second amongst the field with 26 pars. The Edmond, Okla. native has finished in the top 20 of 21 of his 38 career tournaments.
Senior Kolton Crawford displayed the grit that landed him on the PING All-Central Region team last year, fighting through a tough 12-hole stretch to start the day with six birdies over his final 24 holes. Crawford played his final six holes of the morning round at two-under to shoot 73 and closed strong again in the afternoon with four birdies over his final six holes to card a team-low 71.
Tied for fifth in the field and leading Arkansas with an impressive nine birdies on the day, redshirt junior Zach Coats opened with a counting score of 72 and ended with a 75. Coats’ first round featured six birdies, including four on the front for a two-under 33. He played the course’s front nine at a combined one-under for the day. Senior Nicolas Echavarria improved by two strokes from morning (76) to afternoon (74).
T12. Alvaro Ortiz – 65-75/140(E)
T16. Taylor Moore – 68-73/141
T29. Kolton Crawford – 73-71/144
T41. Zach Coats – 72-75/147
T51. Nicolas Echavarria – 76-74/150
Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate (Golfweek Ranking)
1. Alabama (29) – 278-268/546 (-14)
2. Auburn (2) – 276-278/554 (-6)
3. Florida (33) – 287-268/555 (-5)
4. Florida State (5) – 279-279/558 (-2)
5. UNLV (58) – 283-283/566
6. UAB (32) – 286-283/569
7. Arkansas (51) – 278-293/571
8. Baylor (34) – 289-284/573
9. UTSA (130) – 289-285/574
10. Kennesaw State (82) – 292-292/584
11. Mississippi State (98) – 294-292/586
12. Charlotte (65) – 299-291/590